Cut the Stress, Simplify Your Life
If stress is wearing you down, take some advice from those who have left their stress behind -- simplify your life.
It's Time to Disconnect continued...
Think about all the technology resources that we now use that
weren't commonplace even a few years ago, says Dinnoncenzo. Simplifying your
life doesn't mean you have to ditch the cell phone, pager, e-mail, instant
messaging, voice mail, call forwarding, and on and on. But it does mean
establishing clear boundaries:
- Turn off your cell phone when you shouldn't be (or don't want to be)
- Don't take a cell phone to an appointment or when you are focusing on
- Don't give out your cell phone number. Use it only for outgoing calls.
- Screen calls by using caller ID.
- Use the "delete" option -- early and often.
- Arrange for calls from the office only in cases of emergency.
- Maintain your commitment to work-free vacations.
- Let voice mail or the answering machine take your calls.
- On your voice mail greeting, be clear about when you will and will not be
Along with all this technology -- which includes the TV too, by
the way -- comes information overload, says Daphne Stevens, PhD, a
psychotherapist, life coach and author of the forthcoming book, Watercolor
Bedroom: Creating a Soulful Midlife. "Limit the amount of information
you expose yourself to," she says. "Being flooded with stimuli is a
tremendous source of stress."
Debbie Mandel, MA, a stress management expert and author of
Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, says
simplifying your life is like "spring cleaning for the soul."
"Stress is omnipresent," says Mandel. "The trick is
to learn to decompress." Mandel's suggestions for simplifying your life
- Make a list of your activities, prioritize your to-do list, and shed those
activities that no longer serve a purpose in your life.
- Delegate chores at home and at the office. Don't try to do it all. Ask for
- Let go of the myth of perfection.
Simplifying your life may also mean more than just getting rid
of "stuff." It may mean getting rid of people too, says Daphne Stevens.
"Avoid overexposure to negative or toxic people," she suggests.
Instead, "nurture the relationships that support you. A quick email or card
saying 'I'm thinking of you' can work wonders in keeping a friendship alive
when we're too busy to do much else."
However you choose to simplify your life, remember that
simplicity is not about poverty or deprivation, according to The Simple Living
Network. It is about discovering what is "enough in your life -- based upon
thoughtful analysis of your lifestyle and values -- and discarding the